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Week in Review: FTSE 100 flat as inflation soars in the US

11 June 2021

Categories: The week in review

FTSE news

The FTSE 100 traded flat on Thursday (10 June) as investors chewed over higher-than-expected US inflation data. US prices increased by their fastest rate in 13 years in May, official data showed on Thursday afternoon. The index ended the day up just 0.1% at 7,088.18.

  • On Monday (14 June), Make UK/BDO publishes their latest outlook survey for the UK’s manufacturing sector.
  • The Insolvency Service releases insolvency data for UK companies on Tuesday (15 June).
  • The Office for National Statistics (ONS) releases inflation data for May on Wednesday (16 June).
  • On Thursday (17 June), the ONS issues data showing the ongoing impact of coronavirus on the economy and society.
  • The ONS is back on Friday (18 June) with monthly sales figures for the UK’s retail sector.

Sector in focus

France’s second biggest telecoms group has snapped up a large stake in BT Group plc (BT.A) – leading to speculation that a takeover may be on the cards.

Altice this week revealed it had bought a 12.1% stake, worth £2bn, in the UK’s largest telecoms group, making it the firm’s largest shareholder.

Analysts suggested the move could be a precursor to a full-blown takeover, however Altice moved quickly to quash any speculation.

In a statement, Altice said: “Altice UK has informed the BT board that it does not intend to make a takeover offer.”

Separately, Patrick Drahi, the billionaire founder of Altice, said: “BT has a significant opportunity to upgrade and extend its full fibre broadband network to bring substantial benefits to millions of households across the UK. We fully support the management’s strategy to deliver on this opportunity.”

BT Group plc (BT.A) has been under pressure in recent years to speed up the roll out of fibre broadband and intends to install fast internet in 25 million homes and businesses by 2026. Shares closed 6.55% higher on Thursday (10 June) on the back of the news.

Economic update

The UK’s economy is “going gangbusters” and is oustripping other major economies as it recovers from the pandemic, according to a senior Bank of England (BoE) policymaker.

Andy Haldane, the BoE’s departing chief economist, said the UK economy’s recovery from coronavirus had surpassed expectations, adding that it is now one of the fastest-growing in the G7 club of rich nations.

Speaking on LBC radio station, Haldane said: “Growth across the UK is picking up at a real rate of knots, going gangbusters actually… that’s a great thing to see, certainly outstripping growth not just in Europe, in pretty much most of the other G7 big advanced economies.”

However, he also warned that if the economy continued to grow at its current pace the BoE would need to end its emergency economic support to stop inflation soaring.

Experts are worried inflation could rocket once economies full reopen, meaning central banks have to decide whether rate rises are necessary to curb runaway price rises.

Fund watch

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ETF watch

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Company announcements

16 June – The used car market is in a strange place at the moment. A global chip shortage has led to a surge in demand for used cars, which has pushed up prices. But it has also led to supply issues, which is hitting dealers. Nearly new car seller Motorpoint plc (MOTR) posted a robust update in April but is wary of issuing performance forecasts in the current climate. It reports its full-year results on Wednesday (16 June).

2 June – Boot maker Dr Martens plc (DOCS) has made a decent start to life as a publicy-traded company, with its shares up more than 11% since it floated in January. However, analysts are divided about how high its shares may go, with some claiming its valuation looks “full”. The firm will have a chance to prove them wrong when it releases its full-year results on Thursday (17 June).

Author: MRM Categories: The week in review